Well now, this is something different: A “making of” book for a graphic novel. And in tune with the season as well. “High school can be tough enough as it is, but things get even more complicated when you’ve been bitten by a werewolf! Bestselling YA author Cornelia Funke (Inkheart) teams up with comic book artist and character designer extraordinaire Francisco Herrera and former Disney Animator and film Director Raul Garcia (The Missing Lynx) to create a wild and furry world where werewolves are real and hiding in plain view, even in high school! This lavishly illustrated sketch book documents the creative process of transforming Funke’s best-selling Young Werewolf into a brand new, exciting graphic novel series. Hundreds of sketches and color studies show the process of fleshing out the characters of the book as we discover the story of Matt, Lisa, and the incredible odds they have to face to battle an old Hollywood curse.” Bitten: The Full Moon Book is coming soon (in limited quantities) from Magnetic Press. Find out more over at Nerds Unchained.
The animals of the Stratford Zoo return with another secret production in The Stratford Zoo Midnight Review Presents: Romeo & Juliet. “The Stratford Zoo looks like a normal zoo . . . until the gates shut at night. That’s when the animals come out of their cages to stage elaborate performances of Shakespeare’s greatest works. They might not be the most accomplished thespians, but they’ve got what counts: Heart. Also fangs, feathers, scales, and tails. Ian Lendler’s hilarious tale of after-hours animal stagecraft is perfectly paired with the adorable, accessible artwork of Zack Giallongo (Broxo, Ewoks) in this side-splitting companion to their graphic novel The Stratford Zoo Midnight Revue Presents Macbeth.” Which we also reviewed, of course. Check out the extensive preview over at publisher MacMillan’s page. Later this month it’s available in hardcover and softcover editions.
Cartoon Brew recently uploaded the current trailer for Psychonauts, a new 2D animated feature from director Alberto Vazquez. “Based on a comic of the same name by Vazquez, Psychonauts follows two teenagers — Birdboy and Dinki — who decide to escape an island that has been devastated by ecological catastrophe. The hand-drawn film, made in Flash and Photoshop, is co-directed by Pedro Rivero, with whom Vazquez made a related short film five years ago called Birdboy. The new feature was produced by Zircozine and Basque Films, and co-produced by Abrakam Studio and La Competencia. No American distribution has been set yet, but more details about the film can be found at PsiconautasMovie.com.” Birdboy is dead… and possessed by demons…
Kymera Press (home of Pet Noir, which we reviewed recently) has another interesting title in Gates of Midnight. Meet Raven Moon, a decorated combat veteran who’s come home looking for rest and healing after her tour of Afghanistan. Instead she finds deadly secret and a hidden world of monsters. It seems that her father is not only a New York police officer, he’s also a magical warrior charged with keeping his city safe from monsters as they “gate” through to our world. When he is killed on a monster hunt gone wrong, guess who is next in line to be the warrior? But Raven soon learns there is far, far more to these monsters than she is being told… Written by D. Lynn Smith and illustrated Amelia Woo, Gates of Midnight is up to issue 6. Check it out over at Kymera.
Just in time for the upcoming Peanuts CGI feature, Boom! Studios (and their Kaboom! imprint) bring us a brand-new full-color original graphic novel, Peanuts: Where Beagles Dare! “Snoopy, the World War I Flying Ace, is on holiday in France but his leave is cut short when he’s recruited for a top-secret mission. Snoopy must dodge his way through no-man’s land, go deep behind enemy territory, and battle the Red Baron in the blackened skies above. Will Snoopy ever return home to quaff a few Root Beers with Woodstock and have dinner with Charlie Brown? Find out in this original graphic novel featuring Charles M. Schulz’s beloved Peanuts characters and starring Snoopy!” Written by Jason Cooper and illustrated by Vicki Scott, Where Beagles Dare! is available later this month. Find out more at Kaboom’s web site.
Dog Town is a new black & white science fiction/western comic written and illustrated by Brent Otey. “Our story starts when the town rabbit gets kidnapped in the middle of a cat raid. Then an overly positive pig gets involved, not to mention a big, bad wolf. Before long there is a whole heap of trouble for the sheriff of this dog town to sort out. But then again, no one ever said it would be easy to keep the law in a world devastated by a cataclysm that has left the earth charred, mankind dead, and a group of tree-worshiping woodland creatures in charge.” Got all that? Published by K.O. Comix, Dog Town is available at Lulu.com. You can check out their update blog too.
IDW presents a special full-color hardcover graphic novel, tied in with the upcoming release of Skylanders 5. “The official story leading into this year’s all-new Skylanders video game! The citizens of Skylands are in their most desperate hour as Kaos begins to tear the world apart with his newfound powers. Spyro and an elite group of Skylanders must enter an ancient and unknown part of Skylands and find the only hope left that can stand against Kaos’ might!” Written by Ron Marz and David Rodriguez, with illustrations by Fico Ossio, Skylanders: Rift Into Overdrive hits the shelves this week.
Last year DC Comics’ Vertigo line introduced an interesting new take on the killer werewolf trope with the full-color mini-series Wolf Moon, written by Cullen Bunn and illustrated by Jeremy Haun. In it the werewolf is not a person, or even a group of people: It’s a malevolent transforming spirit that hops from person to person every rise of the full moon, making it difficult to track and nearly impossible to stop. Dillon was one of the werewolf’s former targets — and he is determined to find the werewolf spirit and destroy it once and for all. Now just in time for Halloween, Vertigo have announced that Wolf Moon #1 to #6 have been collected in a single trade paperback edition coming in late October.
If you haven’t been reading the newly-reinvigorated Howard the Duck comic book series from Marvel Comics… well, why haven’t you?? Taking flight from his post-credits cameo in the Guardians of the Galaxy movie (and seemingly having gotten over that whole George Lucas… thing…) Howard has been basking in the attention brought to him by this new full-color comic written by Chip Zdarsky and illustrated by Joe Quinones. In case you need to do some catching up, this October Marvel is releasing issues # 1 through #5 of the new Howard series collected together in a single trade paperback, Howard the Duck Volume 0: What The Duck. BleedingCool.com has an extensive background piece on Howard in general and the new series in particular.